New associate at Kreis Enderle clerked for Judges Neff, Leiber

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LEGAL NEWS PHOTO BY CYNTHIA PRICE

by Cynthia Price
Legal News

Daniel Boocher recently joined a team of about seven in the Grand Rapids offices of Kreis Enderle after spending a year as the law clerk for Judge Dennis B. Leiber of the 17th Circuit Court.

Boocher has incredible academic credentials, graduating number one in his Western Michigan University-Thomas M. Cooley Law School class and receiving the book award and the  Certificate of Merit Award (for the highest grade) in nearly 20 classes.

But he gives Judge Leiber a great deal of credit for giving him the experience that allowed him to obtain the position at Kreis Enderle (which is officially  Kreis, Enderle, Hudgins & Borsos, P.C.).

The firm, whose tagline is “We Listen. We Understand.  We Deliver.”, has been around for 45 years. Started in Kalamazoo, Kreis Enderle now also has offices in Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and St. Joseph with approximately 30 attorneys.

The Grand Rapids office is composed of seven attorneys including, for example, Sara Fazio who has been named an Up and Coming Lawyer and a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star; and Elliott Church, known for his expertise in cybersecurity and big data.

Kreis Enderle, as well as Boocher, stress that the offices work together to resolve cases and assist clients. In fact, Boocher says this amounts to having many mentors, particularly as he considers following up on his law school concentration in litigation, including family, criminal and civil.

Boocher comments, “Jim [Boerigter] in the Battle Creek office does a lot of criminal cases. He’s one of my mentors, but I have many here. I can go to someone just down the hall and say, ‘Can you help me with this?’

“So far I love it here. I love that it’s a full service firm, so I get an opportunity at least to dip my feet into everything,  as well as the fact that it’s not such an overly large firm that I can’t get to know people, know what’s going on in their actual lives, which I think is great,” he adds.

Boocher’s experience with Judge Leiber allowed him to see through a judge’s eyes what it is like to practice law on either side of the bar.

The Cadillac native says he really only got interested in the law during college, despite the jokes about the way he presented arguments throughout his youth. After attending Alma College for one year to study music – “I’m a drummer, and I like doing that in my spare time,” he says, “but I started wondering, ‘What’s the future of this?’” – Boocher studied in the criminal justice program at Central Michigan University.
His original interest there was in being a probation officer. “But I took a logic class where they said that the class was great for being a lawyer because you apply the analysis of a case in a logical manner, and even some of my criminology classes led to my interest,” he says.

“And then I saw a poster for the LSAT and my interest grew from then on.”

He says that he throughly enjoyed his time at WMU-Cooley. “The Cooley professors go above and beyond. If you’ve ever seen the movie Paper Chase, the professors are kind of lippy and mean, but that’s not at all what Cooley is like. It’s warm and inviting, and they’ll take you by the hand if you have any problems. I had a great experience with every one of my professors there.”

And it is certainly fair to say that Boocher made the best of his education there. Serving on the board of editors of the Law Review as  Subcite Editor, Boocher twice won the Beachnau Award for “the Law Review Board Member who made the most significant contributions through leadership and dedication.” He also contributed a published article, “Strife over Strieff,” about the fourth amendment and Utah v. Strieff.
He continued on to become the teaching assistant for Prof. Tonya Krause-Phelan in her Criminal Procedure class, and Marjorie Gell for her Wills, Estates, and Trusts course.

Boocher spent a year working for Kenneth Tableman, a litigator in criminal, commercial and estates and trusts, using his knowledge about citations as well as researching and drafting memoranda used in Tableman’s appellate and trial-level practice. (He had previously worked as an intern probation officer in the Gratiot County court during his CMU years.)

The Tableman internship was followed by a brief clerkship for Judge Janet T. Neff of the U.S. Court, Western District. “I learned a lot from her, and at the same time I was studying many hours a day for the bar exam,” he said.

Then Boocher was chosen for the internship with Judge Leiber.

“He’s an amazing guy and an amazing judge.?It would take me an hour to research something for him and he would come up with the same thing in a minute just as sort of an instinct. I learned about his nuances, but I also learned so much from the lawyers arguing the cases before him,” Boocher says.

“I also got the chance to find out what judges in general like to see, what they like to hear, and that was a great opportunity. At Cooley I loved litigation, I loved the mock trials, and I think that’s definitely one of my strengths: arguing the facts and using persuasive logic.”

 For as far into the future as he can see, Boocher would like to stay at Kreis Enderle, and hopes he can contribute to the firm’s success. He also enjoys his adopted home of Grand Rapids, living near Riverside Park with his girlfriend and their greyhound dog. “We love it over there,” he says, smiling, “especially now that the sun’s out.”